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Cyril Ramaphosa begins run for South Africa president

The deputy president also promised that the ANC would make available up to 24 billion rand for Black industrialists to “redefine the way business is done in our country”

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa promises to end White monopolies that he says have gone on ‘[Far] too long’

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFKI) — South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa told an African National Congress fundraising event attended by Black professionals and academics here that the time has come to end White domination of the South African economy.

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His speech was seen by observers as a charm offensive by the ruling ANC ahead of local government elections later this year, according to TheAfricaReport.

Ramaphosa, 63, is widely recognized as a potential candidate to succeed President Jacob Zuma. He is also one of the richest men in Africa, ranking No. 42 on the Forbes 2015 list, Africa’s 50 Richest, with a net worth of $450 million.

“We are going to intensify broad-based Black economic empowerment,” Ramaphosa said. “We are going to sharpen our teeth and determination when it comes to unemployment. For far too long this economy has been owned and controlled by White people. That must come to end.”

ANC’s main opposition – the Democratic Alliance – says it wants to gain votes in Gauteng Province. Ramaphosa asked the audience to support the ANC, dismissing speculation that President Zuma and the ANC have been “captured” by the wealthy Indian Gupta family.

Zuma came under fire from some ANC members and opponents after Deputy Finance Minister Mcebesi Jonas said he was offered his former boss, Nhlanhla Nene’s job by the Guptas, according to TheAfricaReport.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said Ramaphosa’s speech is a separation from Zuma.

Analyst Daniel Silke said the issue of state capture will influence the ANC’s presidential race.

Zuma is seen as defending his relationship with the Guptas. Ramaphosa has come out strongly against the idea of “state capture,” suggesting the way it’s dealt with will be a defining moment for South Africa.

Mathekga said Ramaphosa “was probably advised to ride on this and take a rather principled and aggressive stance. He’s able to use this issue almost immediately to set his own agenda for the coming leadership battle.”

Ramaphosa asked the audience to “rekindle your love for the African National Congress. The ANC wants your love back. What is it that you are going to do for the movement you love? Are you going to sit on the side?”

Ramaphosa also said the ANC would fight corruption in its ranks. “Yes I can hear you; you are all saying ‘when?’ That moment is now, it is going to happen,” Ramaphosa said.

The deputy president also promised that the ANC would make available up to 24 billion rand for Black industrialists to “redefine the way business is done in our country,” he said at the ANC conference.

He encouraged Black businesses to bring ideas to the ANC and asked them to give money to support the party’s local government election campaign.

Ramaphosa stepped down as chairman of investment firm Shanduka Group and sold his 30 percent stake in the business after Zuma appointed him deputy president in May 2014 to avoid conflicts of interest.

He was President Nelson Mandela’s pick for a future presidential bid, TheGuardian reported in 2013.

The time of White business monopolies is over, Ramaphosa said. The government will make sure Blacks own and manage the economy, he said. “Those who don’t like this idea – tough for you. That is how we are proceeding.”

The next general election in South Africa occurs in 2019.

READ MORE: Ramaphosa Begins His Run For President

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